Monday, October 31, 2011

D.C. Gospel Music Producer Deborah E. Bradley: The Master’s Artist

Deborah Edwards Bradley : Tis The Season

Happy Monday!

Although many are spending today gearing up for Halloween, many of us are working on new content to glorify God and celebrate Christ through these holidays season. Today I wanted to share an interview with artist and gospel music producer, Deborah E. Bradley. This month she released her Christmas CD and is also offering a free concert to D.C. local non-profits, who serve the needy during the holiday season


What separates Tis the Season from other Holiday CDs releasing this year?

This year there is a want for nostalgia. By the television shows we’re watching, the clothes we are wearing, we want to remember the great things. Tis the Season reminds us of the greatness of God. There is at least one or two songs that every listener will love dearly and may choose to listen year round, because these are classic Christmas songs. Songs we can hear over and over again.

Click here to read Bradley’s full interview at The Master’s Artist

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tayari Jones Hosts #Blacklitchat Anniversary


Happy Anniversary to #blacklitchat!!! We are pleased to announce that Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 9pm EST  Silver Sparrow author, Tayari Jones will be our Special Host for #blacklitchat Tweet Chat on Twitter!!!!!!!!!! So all you fans of Tayari, lets have an online book chat with her. We may have some surprise drop ins from past #blacklitchat co-hosts.

Tayari Jones

Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta, is a coming of age story set during the city's infamous child murders of 1979-81. Jones herself was in the fifth grade when thirty African American children were murdered from the neighborhoods near her home and school. When asked why she chose this subject matter for her first novel, she says, "This novel is my way of documenting a particular moment in history. It is a love letter to my generation and also an effort to remember my own childhood. To remind myself and my readers what it was like to been eleven and at the mercy of the world. And despite the obvious darkness of the time period, I also wanted to remember all that is sweet about girlhood, to recall all the moments that make a person smile and feel optimistic."

Leaving Atlanta received many awards and accolades including the Hurston/Wright Award for Debut Fiction. It was named "Novel of the Year" by Atlanta Magazine, "Best Southern Novel of the Year," by Creative Loafing Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Washington Post both listed it as one of the best of 2002. She has received fellowships from organizations including Illinois Arts Council, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, The Corporation of Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, Arizona Commission on the Arts and Le Chateau de Lavigny.

Her second novel, The Untelling, published in 2005, is the story of a family struggling to overcome the aftermath of a fatal car accident. When asked why she chose to focus on a particular family in this work after the sprawling historical subject matter of Leaving Atlanta, Tayari Jones explains, "The Untelling is a novel about personal history and individual and familial myth-making. These personal stories are what come together to determine the story of a community, the unoffical history of a neighborhood, of a city, of a nation." Upon the publication of The Untelling, Essence magazine called Jones, "a writer to watch." The Atlanta Journal Constitution proclaims Jones to be "one of the best writers of her generation." In 2005, The Southern Regional council and the University of Georgia Libraries awarded The Untelling with the Lillian C. Smith Award for New Voices.

The Silver Girl, her highly anticipated third novel, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books. An excerpt has been published in Calaloo. Tayari Jones debuted the piece as a headline reader at the conference of the Associated Writers Conference in Atlanta.

Tayari Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, The University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She has taught at Prairie View A&M University, East Tennessee State University, The University of Illinois and George Washington University. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University. She was recently named as the 2008 Collins Fellow by the United States Artists Foundation. She will spend the 2011-12 academic year at Harvard University as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, researching her fourth novel.

    I’ve heard about Silver Sparrow, but don’t know what it’s about?

    With the opening line of Silver Sparrow, “My father, James Witherspoon is a bigamist,” Tayari Jones unveils a breathtaking story about a man’s deception, a family’s complicity, and the teenage girls caught in the middle.

    Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s families– the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters It is a relationship destined to explode when secrets are revealed and illusions shattered. As Jones explores the backstories of her rich and flawed characters, she also reveals the joy, and the destruction, they brought to each other’s lives.

    At the heart of it all are the two girls whose lives are at stake, and like the best writers, Jones portrays the fragility of her characters with raw authenticity as they seek love, demand attention, and try to imagine themselves as women.

    Praise for SILVER SPARROW:

    “Tayari Jones is fast defining middle-class black Atlanta the way Cheever did Westchester…”
    The Village Voice

    "A love story... full of perverse wisdom and proud joy....Jones's skill for wry understatement never
    wavers."—O, The Oprah Magazine

    “Jones is a master and Silver Sparrow is a revelation, alive with meaning and hope.”
    —Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Lark and Termite

    Silver Sparrow is rich, substantive, meaningful. It is also, at turns, funny and sharp, haunting and heartbreaking.”—The Root (The Root )

    “Nakedly honest...dazzlingly charged” —Atlanta Journal Constitution (Atlanta Journal Constitution )


    What is BlackLit Chat?

    It's a stream of tweets about books by Black[including Pan-African, African-American, Brit, Caribbean, Canadian Black, etc.] authors in real time during a specified time. Our time  for this chat is Sunday, October 17, 2010 from 7-8 PM EST. Remember it here via Facebook at

     How does it Work? 3 Easy Steps

    1. Get a Twitter account, or login, or remember your Twitter Password.
    2. Join the chat by clicking this link.
    3. Now login with your Twitter Password.
    4. To join the conversation on October 30, please follow #blacklitchat on Twitter for a conversation moderated by me (@BernadetteDavis) and my co-moderator @deegospel. And if you aren't already, follow @tayari

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Thriller Thursday: Can a Real Spy Write a Thriller?

    Huffington Post Intelligence and Policy Blogger and Former CIA analyst turned author Alma Katsu answers the question, "Can A Real Spy Write a Spy Thriller?" and shares 3 Things to Consider when Your Day Job is the stuff of Novels today on Thriller Thursdays at The Thrill Begins Blog. Alma will be online throughout the day answering your questions and responding to your comments. Click the link above to be directed to the blog.

    FYI: On Thursdays I moderate The Thrill Begins Blog. Please hop over and chat with me and Alma Katsu.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    2012 GMA Dove Awards To Return To Atlanta's Fox Theatre

    Cece and Bebe Winans perform at the 2011 Dove Awards The 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards will return to the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA for the second year in a row to host the 2012 event. Mitchell Solarek, chairman of the board of The Gospel Music Association (GMA), made the announcement at a Dove Awards kickoff reception hosted by CCM Magazine held earlier this week in Nashville.

    The GMA Dove Awards is Gospel music's biggest night of the year, featuring top artists from the many different genres of Gospel and Christian music. The event will be an evening of music and celebration held at the Fox Theatre on Thursday, April 19, 2012, and will be televised nationally on GMC ( on Sunday, April 22, 2012.

    Mitchell Solarek, speaking to record label executives, recording artists and other industry VIPs, said, “Following last year’s outstanding event, we are excited to return to the Fox Theatre for another diverse program showcasing the most talented group of artists from within the Gospel and Contemporary Christian music genres.”

    The decision last year to move the industry event to Atlanta marked the first time ever the GMA Dove Awards had been held outside of Nashville in more than four decades. The sold-out show at the Fox Theatre also garnered the highest ratings for the event to date on GMC, with more than 1.5 million viewers tuning in to watch Sherri Shepherd host the broadcast and to see an array of leading artists perform and take home honors at the annual awards show -- including Female Vocalist of the Year Francesca Battistelli, Male Vocalist of the Year Chris August, and stars such as Third Day, Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant, Chris Tomlin, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp and Kenny Rogers.

    “The Fox Theatre is thrilled to host this prestigious national event honoring the top artists in Gospel music again this year,” said Allan C. Vella, General Manager of the Fox Theatre. “Last year’s event sold out quickly, which speaks to the enthusiasm and support of the Atlanta community. The GMA Dove Awards is already becoming a much anticipated event on the Atlanta entertainment calendar and the Fox Theatre is proud to be a part of it.”

    In 2012, Dove Awards will be handed out in 43 categories. The Dove Awards nominations go to recordings released during the eligibility year from November 1, 2010 through October 31, 2011 and voted on by the members of the GMA.

    Tickets to the 43rd Annual GMA Dove Awards will go on sale in early 2012.

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    D.C. Music Producer Releases ‘Tis the Season’ Christmas Gospel CD and Gives Free Concert

     deborahedwardsbradley Deborah E. Bradley releases Christmas CD Tis the Season.

    Washington, DC – Fans say that D.C. Gospel Music Producer Deborah E. Bradley combines the spiritual intimacy of Mahalia Jackson with the jazzy gospel infusion of Dottie Peoples in a contemporary and nostalgic way in her Christmas new release, Tis the Season. Enjoy ten tracks of classic Christmas songs and Gospel hymns compromise this fusion of contemporary and nostalgic Christian music perfect for the holiday season.

    TIS THE SEASON reminds us of the greatness of God. There is at least one or two songs that every listener will love dearly and may choose to listen year round, because these are classic Christmas songs. Songs we can hear over and over again,” Bradley states.

    Bradley has appeared at Seaton Memorial AME Church of Lanham, MD and Montplier Arts Center in Laurel, MD. As a gift to the community that has supported her, Bradley is offering a free concert to local non-profits, which service the needy during the 2011 holiday season

    Visit her at to listen to Tis the Season. To book her to appear at your holiday event, contact please complete this form or contact Dee Stewart at DeeGospel PR.

    THe Edge of Grace

    Christa Allen’s Excerpt of The Edge of Grace ….

    The last two words I said to my brother David that Saturday were "oh" and "no," and not in the same sentence—though they should have been.

    On an otherwise ordinary, cartoon-filled morning, my son Ben sat at the kitchen table spiraling a limp bacon slice around his finger. His last ditch effort to forestall doing his chores. I was having a domestic bonding experience with the vacuum cleaner. My last ditch effort to forestall the house being over- taken by microscopic bugs, dead skin, and petrified crumbs. I’d just summoned the courage to attempt a pre-emptive strike on the intruders under the sofa cushions when the phone rang.

    I walked into the kitchen, gave Ben the "don’t you dare touch that phone with your greasy bacon hands" stare, and grabbed the handset.

    It was David. "I wanted you to hear this from me," he said. An all-too familiar sensation—that breath-sucking, plum- meting roller-coaster feeling—I’m thinking he’s been fired, in a car wreck, diagnosed with cancer, six months to live, but,

    no, it wasn’t as simple as that.

    He told me he was leaving in a few days for a vacation. With a man. Leaving with a man. Crossing state lines from Louisiana to Mexico to share sun, sand, and sheets with a per- son of the same sex.

    My universe shifted.

    Click here to to lean more about her book.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Spec Fic Spotlight: Mike Duran The Telling

    Mike Duran shares the concept of his new novel, "The Telling" on Youtube. The video is quite nice and the content Mike shares is very intriguing.It is the story of a disfigured reluctant prophet who has to step out of his own way, in order to save the world. Check out and visit his Decompose Site to let him know how you feel about The Telling. He welcomes your feedback. Here’s the link:


    Fish Sticker Sighted Scary: Mike Duran on the Exorcism of Emily Rose

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Where do you get your stories?

    Where do you get your story ideas? Where do you get your story ideas? Are you a ripped from the headlines type? Do your story ideas actually start with character? Do they reflect your life/interests? Are they more intuitive? AND, how do you know when they’re good? Join us at the Big Thrill for this week's Roundtable Discussion this week and share. I’ll ne sharing how A Good Excuse to Be Bad came to be.


    Monday, October 03, 2011

    Fall into Faith, Fun, and Romance with Christian Fiction Author Shana Burton

    Christian Fiction Online Magazine

    Christian Fiction Author Shana Burton featured in October Christian Fiction Online Magazine

    Shana BurtonFall is one of my favorite times of year for reading. The summer book best-seller blitz is over. My book tour winds down. My next book isn’t due to my publisher for a few months, so I have time to visit some book festivals and soak myself in a good read.
    This year I wanted to read something funny, romantic, and filled with Christian principles. Georgia Book of the Year Nominee and Double Day Book Club Pick Shana Burton’s new book, Catt Chasin’, fit that need. I’ve known Shana for a few years. She is the sweetest person you’d ever meet, and she’s quite shy. This month she opens up about the book, how its message brought her closer to Christ, and why dating coaches and people watching make great fodder for plot points.
    Click here to read more

    How to Plot your Novel and Bring Your Character’s to Life Free Online Writing Workshop


    Essence Magazine Bestselling author Shelia Goss and Kensington Books New Suspense Author Miranda Parker team up to host a free online writing workshop for their fans and aspiring writers.

    How to Plot Your Novel and Bring Your Character’s to Life Workshop October 20-22, 2011 at

    This three day workshop will include two components:

    1. How to Plot your Novel. Miranda Parker host
      • In this workshop you will take your working story idea and build a novel ready plot that can also be used as book proposal synopsis.
      • On Day One you will learn the basics and writing techniques to compose a novel plot and will receive a homework assignment to apply these rules to your working story.
      • On Day Two you will present your story plot to the other participants in the workshop to be critiqued by Miranda Parker and the group. Miranda will send you revisions and suggestions.
      • On Day Three you will submit the final plot.
    2. How to Bring Your Characters to Life. Shelia Goss host.
      • In this workshop you will take your main character in your working story and learn techniques to build a publishable character story arc.
      • On Day One you will learn how to make your character novel worthy.
      • On Day Two you will present your character sketch to other participants in the workshop, to also be critiqued by Shelia Goss and the group. Shelia will send revisions and suggestions.
      • On Day Three you will submit your final sketch.

    This workshop includes:

    • a private Facebook group for participants
    • one on one feedback from both Shelia Goss and Miranda Parker
    • a private online workshop to protect their work

    More about Shelia Goss:

    Shelia M. Goss writes in multiple genres. She is the author of the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News and Black Expressions Bestseller My Invisible Husband and Roses are thorns, Violets are true, Paige’s Web, Double Platinum, His Invisible Wife, Hollywood Deception, Delilah, Savannah’s Curse, and Ruthless (Dec. 2011). She’s also the author of the young adult book seriesThe Lip Gloss Chronicles: The Ultimate Test, Splitsville, Paper Thin, Secrets Untold and Secrets Undone (2012).Shelia also writes young adult fiction. Be sure to share the news of her books with a teen in your life. The website is The Ultimate Test, Splitsville, Paper Thin, and Secrets Untold are the books in the Lip Gloss Chronicles series.

    visit her at


    More about Miranda Parker:

    Miranda Parker is the author of A Good Excuse to Be Bad, book 1 in the Angel Crawford Bounty Hunter Series. She has been featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, RT Book Reviews Magazine and Publishers Weekly. She has also made featured author appearances for the 2011 (NBCC) National Book Club Convention, Black Pearl Magazine’s Chocolate Social, The Decatur Book Festival, and the Atlanta Press Club. She is also the Social Media/Marketing Head for the ITW Debut Authors Program and a contributing editor to The Big Thrill.  Bestselling Author Reshonda Tate Billingsley states that "Angel is a good girl in a fast paced, kick butt, bad boy chase, sexy thrill-ride. Can’t wait for the next man hunt." She resides with her family in Georgia near a horse ranch and her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop. On a perfect day she can be found curled up with a good book or in a movie theater with a bucket of popcorn. Visit her blog at or on facebook at

    Hint: I’m her.

    To register for this event, please visit

    Saturday, October 01, 2011

    Review: Courageous, the movie

    Christian Fiction Blog Reviews Courageous


    This summer I saw an early screening of Courageous, the Movie at the 2011 ICRS Convention in Atlanta. The movie released yesterday nationwide. Here's my review.

    Synopsis: Courageous is the fourth film from Sherwood Pictures, the moviemaking ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA. It is the story of law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, and their partners. They are confident and focused: they willingly stand up to the worst the world can offer. While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they're quickly discovering that their standard is missing the mark. When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Can a newfound urgency help these dads draw closer to God ... and to their children?

    Protecting the streets is second nature to these law enforcement officers. Raising their children? That will take courage.

    Runtime: PG-13. 2 hours, 4 minutes

    Review: This movie’s writing is far better than Fireproof. I loved, loved, loved the scene when Officer Hayes took his daughter to dinner and gave her a promise ring. I loved when Officer Mitchell danced with his daughter. Kudos for those bright moments. However, there were some melodramatic, predictable, and questionable spots that kept it from receiving a 5 star rating from Christian Fiction Blog.

    Without sharing much of the plot and the denouement, I want to address my challenge with the constant negative and stereotypical portrayals of people of color in the movie. I’m from South Georgia and have many relatives in Albany, where this movie is set. It would be hard for me to watch this movie with them without cringing. For the record southern af-am gang members aren’t jumped-in like it is portrayed in the movie nor do they wear do-rags and cut off jean shirts. There are many Af-am churches in Albany that could have helped Sherwood on what gang members really look like now. (They could have contacted me, since I was once on a gang prevention task force.)

    Moreover, the comic scene whereby the latino friend masqueraded as the stereotypical Tony Montana, greasy Latino Drug Lord was disturbing and not funny. My in-laws are Latina, as well as my child. I’m not in the mood to have a conversation with her about living with a double stereotype , which has been pushed by leaders of our faith. Furthermore, it is more evident after reading the praise of The Help that many of us do not know American Immigration history and how damaging these prejudiced roles are to the psyche of our society.

    Although I understand the message this movie wants to get out, I do not understand the need for perpetuating stereotypes in order to do it. It puts people off, which I’m sure wasn’t its desired intent. All men, regardless of race, are challenged by being fathers. Criminal behavior is not regulated just to people of color, and all af-am men who grew up in single parent households aren’t doomed to a life of crime, nor are the ones who aren’t criminal an exception to the rule.

    At some point American Protestant Society including CBA and Sherwood has to realize that if they want to evangelize Christ message to everyone, if they want to edify the Body of Christ, if they want to glorify God, they are going to have to see everyone as equal. Casting people of color is a step forward; Casting them to stereotype is two steps back. Otherwise Courageous, is a movie only for white protestant fathers, which I don’t believe- especially after having a chat with director Alex Kendrick.

    Sure Tony Dungy praised the film in USA Today. However, he doesn’t speak for me and I’m proof positive he doesn’t speak to the men of color in Albany, Georgia, whom this movie will most assuredly single them out to be bad men.

    3 stars.


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